Phil is the Director of Impact Strategy Services at Eido Research, where we he works with Christian organisations to use research to turn their vision into impact.
At Eido, we are motivated by Lee Bolman’s quote that ‘a vision without a strategy remains an illusion.’ Churches and Christian organisations are full of vision for how to change and reach the world for Christ, and more and more want to measure their impact to show they are doing so – but we often came across organisations who struggle to articulate their strategy to make that impact likely to occur.
One of my favourite experiences is engaging with a new partner and hearing the vision for their organisation and God’s Kingdom. Many of my conversations begin with clients asking, “please help us measure our impact.” This is a major part of what Eido helps organisations to achieve, but sometimes it can be the wrong place to start. Impact increases both when we measure it and when we centre our thinking around the impact we want to see. So much can be done to articulate impact more powerfully before we start to collect data.
To help overcome this issue we created our Impact Strategy Model (ISM).
Our vision for the Eido ISM is simple: to empower churches and Christian organisations to put Kingdom impact at the centre of their thinking, doing, and communicating.
One of the problems with creating an impact narrative or impact strategy is integrating the perspective of the three groups of people within a church or organisation who have a stake in its impact:
- those who tell others about the organisation’s impact, to secure financial and other resources;
- those who make strategic decisions, guiding what the organisation will and won’t do;
- those aiming to deliver impactful work on the frontline.
The Eido ISM was designed to bring these three audiences together. We took a decade of on-the-ground experience and best practice in fundraising, programme design and impact evaluation and asked what they held in common. Adding in the unique perspective of Christian organisations, the result was six simple, sequential and stretching questions that enable your church or organisation to powerfully articulate the impact they intend to have.
Immediately this enables you to speak more clearly about your impact, how you intend to make it, and how God works within that. It gives you a framework to review current strategies and design new ones that are likely to deliver impact. And it gives you a framework to measure your impact, making the data easier to collect and more likely to contain the sustained impact that you are hoping for.
In the last two years we’ve trained and partnered with over 60 Christian organisations and churches of all stages and sizes to apply the Eido ISM. These have included Christians in Sport, New Wine, Causeway Coast Vineyard Church, LICC, Restored, TLG, Make Jesus Known, and Harper Church Glasgow. Now we are delighted to be partnering with Stewardship to offer monthly training sessions across their network, to all of you!
Through our training sessions: Impact made simple: How to articulate the impact of your ministry, you will learn how to use the Eido ISM to:
- make a more impact-focused case for funding and resources;
- articulate the role of God and faith in your strategy;
- make decisions on what activities to run based on their likely impact;
- design and run programmes and activities that maximise impact;
- identify the evidence you actually need to demonstrate your impact.
The training sessions are delivered through an interactive two-hour webinar, using a workbook to apply the six questions of the Eido ISM throughout. The content is full of examples and best practice ideas for how to make the most of the Eido ISM in your church or organisation.
I look forward to meeting many of you there and showing you how to simply and powerfully articulate your own Kingdom impact.